I often think in lists – things to do, people to see, topics to write about. As I reflected on why I’ve just spent a month thinking and sharing on the discipline of fasting, I wondered to myself, “Why?” It isn’t a topic that grows crowds or inspires lots of conversation. Teachers who want to grow big crowds, tell them what they want to hear and make promises that are larger than life. Teaching on fasting is a bit of a downer compared to other interesting topics.
There are 3 main reasons why I teach on fasting:
- It’s hard for me. I don’t like to be hungry but I want desperately to be hungry for God and his provision. My first reason is to teach myself.
- There’s a serious lack of good teaching on Biblical fasting (there are some great resources, but not many). Resources I’d recommend include Richard Foster’s Celebration of the Disciplines and www.ihopkc.org – follow the link to resources where there is much written and spoken on fasting).
- I believe the life following after Jesus is a life of delayed gratification (which includes fasting food).
- Giving is a fast where I keep less of my money.
- Sabbath is a fast where I provide for my family on one less day of labour.
- Abstinence is a fast of sex outside of the marriage relationship.
- We believe that less with God is infinitely greater than everything without God.
Pray with me today that you and I would be hungry for the things of God. Jesus invited us to look for God’s kingdom first, and to be made right in the way that God makes things right. This is his answer to the worry and stress in our lives because his promise comes with his reward: everything we need to live daily will be included in what we receive.
Jesus I believe you, I will look for you and I will find your resources. I will follow you and you will be enough for me. Amen.